Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps
Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps

Surface Warfare


While the U.S. Navy has the most technically and tactically advanced defense and war-fighting capabilities on land, in the air, and under the sea, the mainstay of the force is the vast fleet of aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, frigates, amphibious ships, combat logistics support ships and mine warfare ships. These ships and their crews are commanded and managed by an elite group of ship drivers and ship fighters – the Navy’s Surface Warfare Officers.  (Surface Warfare Video)

Surface Warfare Officers are the leaders onboard the world’s most powerful vessels, managing professional and highly trained Sailors to maintain and operate the ship’s systems. All midshipmen who choose Surface Warfare can look forward to a challenging career as a member of the Navy's oldest warfare community. Newly commissioned Ensigns will find themselves in the most modern fleet in the world, serving on a variety of ships such as the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers, the LCS-1 Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ships or the LPD-17 San Antonio Class Landing Platform Dock amphibious ships all on the cutting edge of warship technology.

Surface Warfare Officers are involved in virtually every aspect of Navy missions. Antisubmarine warfare, antiair warfare, antisurface warfare, land attack, theatre air missile defense, support for Marine Corps, Navy Special Warfare (SEAL) and special operations (EOD) missions, communications, damage control, and shipboard management all rely on the knowledge and expertise of Officers in the Surface Warfare community. During a sea tour, Surface Warfare Officers may be in charge of any number of shipboard operations and activities and may work with or within the following forces:

*  Aircraft Carrier Forces: Provide and coordinate air defense from nuclear-powered carriers

*  Cruiser-Destroyer Forces: Provide ship attack and defense measures with a wide array of missile and fire power capabilities providing surface warfare, air warfare, and antisubmarine and littoral warfare support

*  Amphibious Forces: Provide embarkation, transport, and debarkation of vehicles, cargo and troops and support for amphibious operations, at the forefront of littoral warfare.  

*  Combat-Logistics Forces: Provide combatant ships with fuel, ammunition, food and supplies, and provide repair, maintenance, and rescue capabilities through fleet support ships

*  Mine Warfare Forces: Detect, identify, and neutralize threats to maritime forces from hostile use of mines

Those midshipmen who choose a career in Surface Warfare during their senior year will select their ship along with all other NROTC midshipmen in the nation. Once you are commissioned and receive your orders you will proceed directly to the homeport of your ship to begin your Surface Warfare career. Today's surface Navy (link opens new window) literally covers the globe, and your first assignment could be anywhere from Italy to Virginia to San Diego to Japan. The Surface Warfare community is full of history and tradition as well as a strong commitment to the defense of the country and the support of its commitments around the world.